Novelist Heidi Durrow Looks Up [Book Review]

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United States on 2013-08-27 04:10Z by Steven

Novelist Heidi Durrow Looks Up [Book Review]

Hot Metal Bridge: a literary magazine
Published by the University of Pittsburgh

Liberty Hultberg

The Girl who Fell from the Sky, by Heidi W. Durrow
(Algonquin, January 2010)

Durrow’s debut novel explores modern multiracial identity within one mixed girl’s experience of love, family, class, and beauty in an American society still defining these ideas decades after the Civil Rights Movement. The main character’s perspective, if sometimes a bit sentimental, provides a precise lens through which to view a delicately complicated and shifting world.

Rachel, daughter of a mother newly emigrated from Denmark and a Black American G.I., opens the novel as the only survivor of a mysterious, tragic accident that leaves her in the care of her grandmother and the black community in Portland, Oregon. Her curly hair, light eyes, and fair skin are the source of much attention and scrutiny, forcing Rachel to examine what it means to be Black…

Read the entire review here.

Tags: , , , ,

An Interview with Lise Funderburg

Posted in Articles, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2013-07-28 23:36Z by Steven

An Interview with Lise Funderburg

Hot Metal Bridge: published by Writing MFA students at the University of Pittsburgh
Spring 2009 (All The Way Down)

Interview by Liberty Hultberg

Lise Funderburg is the author of Black, White, Other: Biracial Americans Talk About Race and Identity (1994) and the memoir Pig Candy (2008), which has been described as part memoir, part travelogue, and part social history, about race, mortality, filial duty…and barbecue. She has written numerous articles for publications including O Magazine, Self Magazine. She is a creative writing instructor at the University of Pennsylvania and resides in Philadelphia.

HMB: What prompted you to write Pig Candy? At what point did you know this needed to be a book?

LF: My dad got sick and almost died. I was in my late thirties, and I realized, suddenly, that he wasn’t going to be around forever. He recovered fully from that incident, but I realized there were things about my father that I just didn’t know because he’d been a very close-to-the-vest kind of person growing up. I wanted to figure out who he was; he was a curious combination of disparate elements. He was hardworking and reliable and charming and funny and unpredictable and cantankerous and mean and abusive. He was a very strict father, but in some ways he didn’t care about formalities at all. So who was this man and what made him tick?

I thought: Here’s this guy who’s so different from me demographically. He’s a man born in the twenties right before the Great Depression into the Jim Crow South in Monticello, a rural Georgia town. He grew up Black, and I grew up a mixed race girl in the integrated North in an urban environment during Civil Rights. There’s so much about what shaped his life that I don’t know anything about and how will I find this out? So I started to interview him. I was already a journalist, so I had this idea that maybe it was a book, but I didn’t really know what form the book was going to take. I interviewed him on safe subjects, which were his jobs; he was such a hardworking person that I thought this was something he’ll talk to me about, and it wouldn’t have the goopy, unpleasant (to him) qualities of emotion…

Read the entire interview here.

Tags: , ,